(Minghui.org) A fellow practitioner shared with me her recent experience of going through sickness tribulation. She said that when the situation first appeared, she didn't take it seriously. She kept doing what she was doing and sent forth righteous thoughts to deny it. When it became severe and lasted for a while, other practitioners came and helped her send forth righteous thoughts.
In experience sharing articles on Minghui about overcoming sickness karma and tribulations, we often see similar situations like the manifestation of a sudden physical condition and the practitioner ignores it. Then days later the pain or the situation intensifies and seriously interferes with the practitioner's doing the three things. The practitioner looks inward, sends forth righteous thoughts, negates the old forces’ arrangements and denies the false appearance, and firmly believes in Master and the Fa. Reading how other practitioners overcame tribulations is truly moving.
When physical conditions occur, fellow practitioners’ thoughts are very positive; so why does it become increasingly serious, until it becomes a major tribulation?
Since I haven’t had this experience, I can only speculate based on my own understanding. The symptoms might be mild in the beginning, but then get worse. Although practitioners say that they didn’t think about it, I think they did. I guess they thought, “This is the old forces’ persecution, and it’s fake, so I should do whatever I want without acknowledging it.”
As soon as the situation arises, they feel it’s the old forces persecuting them. I think this clearly places oneself in the position of being in a battle with the old forces, i.e. you made a false appearance to persecute me, and I deny you. If you identify it as the old forces, then the old forces are really there. The old forces may think that you are unaffected at this level, so they will increase the sickness symptoms. The manifestation in this space is that it gets more and more severe and intense. As a result, a “false appearance” has turned into a real contest.
In the process, the old forces have done what they want to do – arranging and testing you, to see if you can pass. The next step is to follow the script arranged by the old forces. Isn’t this exactly following the old forces’ arrangement? Practitioners with strong righteous thoughts were able to come through, but they still allowed themselves to suffer something they shouldn’t have had to bear; those with weak righteous thoughts experienced aggravated symptoms, prolonged suffering, and even lost their lives. This is not what Master wants.
“I am against all that the old forces do. I don’t accept any of it. And even less so should Dafa disciples be made to endure such suffering. (Applause)” (“Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference”)
There are many possible causes of physical problems, and only the more common ones are discussed here. One possibility is that there have been long-term omissions in personal cultivation that the old forces have caught hold of. If you still don’t realize it, it will torment you endlessly and intensify the persecution, as it finally has an excuse to drag you down. If this is the case, as long as you look inward in the tribulation and rectify yourselves in the Fa, the physical condition will immediately turn around, because “Once you improve your xinxing, your body will undergo a great change.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
There is another situation that I’d like to discuss, which is when you are in a normal, diligent cultivation state, and a serious physical condition suddenly occurs. The first thought is to look inward and see if it’s caused by some inappropriate thought. If not, I think it is a good thing—it’s the elimination of karma, purification, improvement, and gong increasing (this also makes the physical body uncomfortable). It should be a benign process.
If you think that what is happening is a good thing, then your mind is peaceful, not resisting, and not worried or afraid. Cultivation has different states at different levels, so just take a peaceful view of the physical conditions at each level. There will be no psychological fluctuations due to the fact that you are happy when you feel good, and you are afraid and reject it when you feel sick.
If, whenever a situation occurs you consider it to be interference and something from the old forces, how can your dimensional field (body and mind) be peaceful? Your mind is tense, and your body is in pain. This state will trigger subsequent effects and put you in an unharmonious field. All of this was invited by one’s thoughts.
I think, no matter what level one is at, as long as one wants to cultivate and has a desire to cultivate well, Master is in charge of everything and arranging everything for us. When one is doing the right thing and suddenly has a physical ailment, is it that Master ignores it and lets the old forces take over? How it that possible?
Dafa disciples all say we just listen to Master, so why do you first think of the old forces when the situation appears? I think it is the notion that physical discomfort is not good and when bad things come, it is persecution arranged by the old forces, so we have to deny it and not admit it.
What I see is that it is precisely because of human notions of “physical suffering not being good,” the mind doesn’t want to suffer, and the fear and worry about the unknown consequences of this situation, that one thinks of it as “persecution.” As a result, one invites persecution from the old forces.
Isn’t Master’s fashen protecting us? Then why are the old forces capable of doing what they want to do? It is because we asked for it ourselves. Master said: “There is a principle in our universe that normally other people cannot interfere with whatever one pursues and wants for oneself.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun) We have to cultivate it ourselves. What we see is our own endurance; what we don’t see is that compassionate Master has endured it for us.
“If what arises is a righteous thought, and you take the position that all of this is false, that it’s the old forces meddling, and you remind yourself of how long you’ve cultivated Dafa for and that no such thing is possible, if that thought truly comes from within, instantly the problem will vanish.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
I previously did not have a good understanding of Master’s teaching on the false appearance of sickness karma. My understanding of the term “encompassing” is that it can be explained from any perspective. I don’t have a clear view of the truth, so I can’t see through the false appearance. With obvious symptoms being there, how can I understand that it is a false appearance? My previous understanding was: Master does not acknowledge anything arranged by the old forces, so what is arranged by the old forces should not exist and we don’t admit it. I thought of the old forces’ arrangement as a “false appearance” from the perspective of its illegitimate existence and denied it with righteous thoughts.
I now have a more comprehensive understanding of sickness karma at my current level. For example the ulcers, tumors and inflammation we see on the surface of the body are false appearances. The truth is that “...in another dimension there lies a being in that place.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
So, what is the truth behind this false appearance of physical pain? I understand it is purification, gong increase, and Master’s encouragement because we’re doing the three things that Dafa disciples should do. It is also a test that Master arranged for us to improve at each level and it will appear in different forms; it may also come from the old forces.
“...in order to remove your attachments and test whether or not you have what it takes, the old forces cause you to have pain wherever the focal point of your former illness was, or have a relapse, with the symptoms even being the same, all to see whether you believe in Dafa.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
But Master also said, “beat them at their own game.” Enlightenment from the illusion of truth and falsehood depends on how our mind moves, and we will improve upon passing the test. At this point you will find that the unusual situation is over instantly (many times in seconds or minutes), and there is no delay in our carrying out the things we are supposed to do because the low-level barriers can no longer test lives of higher levels. This is a process of improvement; isn't it an opportunity to advance in cultivation?
As practitioners we all want to improve as soon as possible within the limited time we have to cultivate. Then aren’t the more physical changes we experience the better? The changes will bring us a variety of feelings; being uncomfortable is normal.
Once when a practitioner noticed that I had a cough and a hoarse voice he said, “Deny it, don’t acknowledge it.” It took me a second to understand that he was telling me to deny the old forces, but I thought it was body purification, a good thing—and had nothing to do with the old forces. Why did I see the same situation differently?
I also heard some practitioners say that a physical condition is karma elimination in the period of personal cultivation, but during the Fa-rectification period, it is the old forces persecuting us and we should not acknowledge it. My understanding is that the principles of Dafa cultivation are unchanged. The basic process of studying the Fa, practicing the exercises, cultivating the mind, eliminating karma, and increasing gong, will not change due to the appearance of the old forces. The existence of the old forces only makes the responsibility of Dafa disciples greater—they are destroying people while we want to save them. This makes the cultivation environment more complicated, and the requirements of the Fa for us higher.
I already had clear thoughts and faith during my early days of cultivation, i.e. the more abnormal something seems to people, the more normal it is for practitioners. I know that I have a lot of karma and attachments, so I should hurry to eliminate them. The changes in my body and mind are good things, so I don’t reject any “abnormal conditions.” The more serious the condition, the greater the elimination of karma, the greater the change and the improvement. Repeated occurrence means further cleaning and purification. Sometimes I really thought that as long as I could bear it, I hoped more would manifest.
When a physical condition appears, no matter what cultivation state and level we are in, we should just look inward based on the Fa, correct ourselves, and firmly believe in Master and Dafa. A practitioner does not have disease; if we believe that its appearance is for us to improve, and raise our xinxing to meet the standard of that level, the symptoms will disappear. Don’t think too much about the old forces, and don’t just deny them in words. Negate the old forces with our actions.
I remember once I had a sudden physical condition. If it wasn't a hint for my xinxing improvement, I’d think it was physical purification to increase my gong. But that time it was very uncomfortable, and it lasted for more than an hour. I wondered if it was because I didn’t think it was persecution by the old forces and sent righteous thoughts to deny it, thus letting the old forces go rampant and the persecution didn't end. I then sent forth righteous thoughts against the old forces. Suddenly the following words came to my mind-, “Do you think it is not purification?” I blurted out, “It is purification.” Immediately, the symptom decreased. Now that I think about it, it was a test of whether I really believed.
I asked myself if I was too optimistic. Except for physical conditions that arise due to xinxing issues—I immediately look inward, send righteous thoughts, improve my xinxing and come through—other times when any physical condition arises, I almost always feel that it’s body purification. Especially when a sudden condition occurs in a normal state of cultivation, I don’t think of it as persecution, because persecution doesn’t happen for no reason.
We know from the Fa that our body changes from the inside out, breaking through layer by layer until it reaches the surface. We don’t know what happens in the microcosm. When it manifests in this dimension it may be the abnormal feeling our bodies experience. Therefore, I’m usually very calm—I don’t feel nervous or worried. I only feel it’s a test of my endurance and tolerance. I even have a little expectation as I bear it, because I know that after this experience things will be even better.
Five years ago when I went out to clarify the truth, I saw people exercising on fitness equipment, so I also started exercising, trying to start a conversation. While swinging my legs back and forth, I leaned back and with a big “bang!” I fell on the concrete. “Get up quickly,” I thought, as I stood up and got back on the equipment again to let people see that I was okay. I took this as paving the way for clarifying the truth to them.
I walked all the way home without any problem, but once I entered my house, I couldn’t move one step due to back, hip, and leg pain. “This time there will be a big change in my body,” I thought. In a few seconds I could move my body again.
Later I decided to watch a Shen Yun performance video, but after sitting down, the back of my head felt heavy. I thought my head would be cleansed as well. While watching Shen Yun, I didn’t pay attention to the discomfort, and the feeling disappeared.
During the whole process, I didn’t think about the evil persecution, i.e., I didn't put myself in the position of being persecuted, so my mind was relaxed.
I realized afterwards that if I'd thought differently, the result might have been different. When a sudden situation occurs, if one thinks it is persecution or demonic interference, one will see it as a “stumbling block” on the path of cultivation. If one thinks it is a good thing, one will see it as a “stepping stone” for improving in cultivation. The thought at the time of the incident is very important. What you think it is determines what you will face and experience next, and what you will gain in the end.